Burton NZ Open kicks off

Wed 08 August 07

Day 1 with 100 boarders vying for a place in the halfpipe finals

Burton NZ Open kicks off

Burton NZ Open kicks off ©

NZ Open logo

Day one of the fifth annual Burton New Zealand Open at Snow Park NZ saw over 100 young snowboarders vying for a coveted place in Saturday’s Halfpipe Semi-finals alongside some of the world’s best athletes.

The pre-qualifiers showed a wide range of riding, providing a perfect platform for up and coming riders to pitch their skills against more experienced competitors. The field of 71 men and 40 women was whittled down to 10 and five qualifiers, respectively. Stand out performances came from highest ranked men’s qualifier 17-year-old Kazumi Fujita of Japan. His technical combination of spins together with high amplitude and excellent execution earned him a score of 84.0. In the women’s event, Elizabeth Beerman (USA) also did enough technical spins to push her ahead of the pack with the highest scoring run of the day of 88.0.

“It was a full day of exciting competition and it’s ramping up nicely towards a spectacular finals day,” said Ste’en Webster, Assistant Head Judge. “There were people from all over the world here enjoying by far one of the best pipes we’ve seen, thanks to Snow Park NZ’s Frank Wells and his crew.”

The only New Zealand rider to make it through the semi-finals, Kendall Brown (17) of Mount Manganui, said the competition was tough and standard of riding incredibly high.

“The riding in the women’s comp was amazing. It was good to ride with girls from around the world and great seeing everyone trying new tricks and killing it,” she said. “It was a pretty tough competition and a relief to get through to the semis as they only took the top two girls from each heat.”

Brown qualified in second place with a score of 75.4 and will join fellow Kiwis, Juliane Bray (Wanaka), Will Jackaways (Wanaka), Mitch Brown (Mount Manganui) and James Hamilton (Wanaka), all of whom are invited pre-ranked riders.

Along side the halfpipe event, a well-attended Slopestyle practice took place in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifiers with a start list of 120 men and 40 women. Competition gets underway at 9.15am

Next Story

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Burton New Zealand Open 2007

7-11 August 07

260 riders from 16 countries will descend on Snow Park NZ for five days of world-class snowboarding action